We watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty again last night (the Ben Stiller remake), and in the opening scene, there is a line where we discover Walter had failed to fill in his 'Been there, Done that' section of his dating profile.
No spoilers but Walter has been a 'responsible' working adult from a very young age.
Do we need to put our lives on hold in order to 'do the right thing'?
Last year, when my daughter started a new school, we decided to invite some of the new school parents to a party we were having. The party was for no reason, and a fancy dress spy party (ok, the reason was I'd been watching OSS:117 and got the idea into my head...reason enough for me to run with it). We didn't know them very well, but I figured you had to start somewhere. The party was large, and they were just a few extras added to our invited friends.
We're having another party, and at the new class dinner, I invited one of the women who hadn't already been invited. She responded with "Oh, you're the people who had the party last year. I heard about that. They didn't know what it meant, a party for the adults (like it was some porno key party??)". Taken aback I said "Is it that weird to have a party?" (Having not realised until now my invitation had marked me as a pervert). With no sadness she replied "Oh you know, you kind of put your life on hold and do things around the kids".
I agree, you do to an extent. But a party? Do you never go out without the kids, as a couple? Or even as a single, an individual person? Is it strange to do things as an adult? I understand cost of babysitting, or even finding a babysitter makes life difficult but that a party invitation would be met with trepidation and confusion? Ironic given we seem to throw quite lavish parties for small children (compared to what I grew up with).
I think Walter is not alone, in putting aside his dreams. We let life slip by as we busy ourselves with everyday demands.
We need to fill it up, so our been there, done that criteria is full and makes us happy. It doesn't mean we have to ignore our responsibilities, just not lose ourselves in them.
That is the quintessence of life.
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